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Author: Jeroen Korving

The Golden Triangle: Golf Hotspot in the Algarve

22 November 2019
7 min. read
Jeroen Korving
The Algarve is obviously very well-known as a golf destination. But where should you stay if you want to play the best golf courses in the Algarve? A golf hotspot is where you’ll find the most highly rated courses in close proximity to each other. This is certainly important if you don’t want to spend a lot of time driving to and from the golf course. It’s also important if you want to optimize your time chilling on the beach, with family and friends or simply laying in bed after a few beers in town.
Dona Ana Beach (photo credits: Lacobrigo - Wikimedia Commons)

Our site is designed to help you out when planning your golf trip. You might be looking for the best deals, but a lot of golfers just want to play on the best courses (just like us). On Leadingcourses.com it’s very easy to find the best golf hotspots in every country:

  • Just search for a country 
  • Select the map view 
  • Filter golf clubs with a 8.0  higher. 

Head to the area between Faro and Olhos de Água

Based on all reviews, it turns out that our golf hotspot in the Algarve is the area between Faro and Olhos de Água. This is the best place to be for golf. This area in central Algarve between Quinta do Lago, Almancil and Quarteira is often referred to as the Golden Triangle. Why? It has an abundance of luxury accommodation in beautiful settings, some of the best golf courses in the Algarve, and is only about 20 minutes from Faro airport.

Based on your reviews we can certainly say that this area is home to the largest density of good golf courses. There are 31 golf clubs in total in the Algarve (some clubs have multiple courses), but in this small area you will find 5 golf clubs which all have a rating of 8.0 and higher. These clubs are within a 10 km radius of the central town of Vale do Lobo. So if you want to stay somewhere, renting a villa or apartment at Vale do Lobo Resort is a good start. Alternatively, you can always head towards the The Magnolia Hotel which belongs to Quinta do Lago.

How to get there?

The golden triangle is located in the proximity of the main airport and gateway to the Algarve: Faro Airport (IATA code: FAO). Faro Airport is located only 4 km from Faro, the capital of Algarve District. The airport is quite modern and car rental companies are located just outside the terminal. Often hotels will offer a pick-up service so if you want to play the courses below, then transportation from your hotel to the golf course is no problem at all. Taxis are also quite cheap in Portugal.

The best golf course in Portugal is Monte Rei Golf & Country Club (according to our Golfers’ Choice rankings). This course is not located within the golden triangle but it is certainly worth a visit. Monte Rei lies to the east of Faro, close to Tavira and contributes to the label of golf hotspot in the Algarve.

Algarve: a great climate and coastline

The most photographed hole in Europe: 16th hole at the Royal Course (Photo credits, member marksheehan)

Faro has a subtropical-mediterranean climate. Summers are warm to hot and sunny with average daytime temperatures of 27–35 °C (81–95 °F). The weather in the autumn and winter months is generally mild with temperatures around 8–17 °C (46–63 °F). Faro receives most of its rainfall over the winter months; rain is very rare between June and September.

When planning a trip, spring is the best season to play golf in the Algarve. That is also the high season for golf. If you really want to go during summer, then go early June. September and October are also good months to go. It’s not so hot and it’s less crowded while the days are still pretty long. If you still want to play during the summer, then bring enough water, wear a cap, hire a buggy….and use sun lotion!

The coast and beaches in the Algarve are also reason for its golf hotspot status. The red sand and rock formations start anywhere from Olhos de Água and stretch up to Ferragudo. 

The Best Golf Courses near Olhos de Água

The following golf courses are very close to Vale do Lobo and Olhos de Água. They are all highly rated by our members.

Vale do Lobo

Home to the most photographed hole in Europe (16th, Royal Course). Vale do Lobo golf courses have twice been host to the Portuguese Open. The courses are based upon original concepts by the legendary Sir Henry Cotton and re-developed by the respected American golf architect Rocky Roquemore.  Both courses (Royal & Ocean) take players through umbrella pine and fig tree-lined fairways to the Atlantic. The Royal plays dramatically along the cliff’s edge, while the Ocean sweeps daintily down to the beach. This combination of links and parkland golf provides an enjoyable game for golfers of all standards.

Quinta do Lago (4,1 km from Vale do Lobo)

Quinta do Lago is an exclusive golf and residential estate bordering both the Atlantic Ocean and the Ria Formosa Natural Park. It’s neatly nestled in nearly 2.000 acres of countryside and pine forests. The club itself was created in 1972 and now boasts three golf courses: the South course, North course and Laranjal. The first two courses have more height differences and water, while Laranjal is much more open. Golfers on Leadingcourses.com prefer the Laranjal course

San Lorenzo Golf Club (5,3 km from Vale do Lobo)

San Lorenzo opened in 1988. The course was designed by American gοlf course architects Joseph Lee and Rocky Roquemore and is located within the protected Ria Formosa Nature Park. The elegant fairways run alongside saltwater marshes, freshwater lagoons and the cooling Atlantic ocean. The course is the most scenic in the Algarve according to reviewers on our site. The layout is good and certainly holes 5-8 have great vistas across the Ria Formosa Nature Park and estuary.

The Old Course – Dom Pedro Golf (8,9 km from Vale do Lobo)

In the heart of Vilamoura, only 20 minutes from Faro, lies the Grande Dame of Algarve courses, The Old Course Golf Club. This Frank Pennink designed, parkland layout, is one of the oldest in the region and renowned all over the golfing world. This beautiful course meanders through impressive pine trees (the principal hazard) over gently undulating natural terrain. Although it opened in 1969, the course was completely renovated and modernised 27 years later. Fortunately no major changes were made to the magnificent layout.

Victoria Golf Course – Dom Pedro Golf (10,0 km from Vale do Lobo)

The Victoria Golf Course (opened in 2004) covers some 90 hectares and is the most recent Arnold Palmer project in Portugal. It prides itself as one of the best and most sophisticated golf courses in Europe. Therefore every care has been taken to ensure the preservation of the wetlands and the typical vegetation of carob, olive and almond trees. Several lakes, occupying 13 hectares, provide mirrors of water and strategic reservoirs for irrigation.

We hope this blog has inspired you to visit this region and to share your opinions afterwards! More ‘hotspot’ regions will be posted soon; we hope you appreciate them!

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